People's Stories Advocates

IPCC Report confirms world is on the brink of breaching major tipping points
by Climate Action Network, agencies
Aug. 2021
IPCC Report confirms world is on the brink of breaching major tipping points, near-term climate action is critical.
Rapid phase out of fossil fuels to reduce emissions drastically within this decade is the only course of action to keep Paris Agreement temperature goal of 1.5°C in sight.
The IPCC WG1 Report was published today as part of the first of three reports under the Sixth Assessment Cycle. This report deals with the physical basis of changing climate systems and comes as extreme weather events continue to make headlines around the world.
The report states with certainty that human activity is wrecking the climate system in unprecedented ways, causing, in some instances, irreversible damage. Without urgent and far-reaching climate action, the world is on a razor’s edge with regards to breaching major tipping points. The window of time to prevent warming beyond 1.5°C is rapidly closing.
Implicit in the report is that rising emissions caused by a destructive dependence of fossil fuels is set to worsen climate catastrophes. While this report does not deal with climate impacts and mitigation pathways, it is clear that support for adaptation and loss and damage is critical now more than ever before, especially for vulnerable communities in poor countries who are least equipped to cope with intensifying climate disasters.
With less than three months before COP26, world leaders, particularly those of the largest emitting countries, must confront this latest science. This report must serve as a catalyst to enhance climate targets, phase-out all fossil fuels and increase climate finance.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Global Climate & Energy Lead, WWF:
“The report is an important moment in the lead-up to COP26 because it is all about certainty – certainty of the scale of the climate crisis and humankind’s role in driving extreme weather events, certainty of how much we have changed the planet, and certainty that things will continue to get worse unless we immediately change course.
“World leaders must use every opportunity, especially the upcoming G20 Summit and COP26, to deliver climate action that responds to the ambition needed to ensure the 1.5˚C goal of the Paris Agreement does not slip out of reach.”
Dr Stephen Cornelius, Chief Adviser on Climate Change & Global lead on the IPCC, WWF:
“This is a stark assessment of the frightening future that awaits us if we fail to act. With the world on the brink of irreversible harm, every fraction of a degree of warming matters to limit the dangers of climate change. It is clear that keeping global warming to 1.5°C is hugely challenging and can only be done if urgent action is taken globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect and restore nature.”
Dr Stephan Singer, Senior Adviser, Climate Action Network International:
“Governments must interpret the findings of the latest IPCC report as an alarm bell to phase-out of fossil fuels within this decade. This report must serve as a large nail in the coffin of the fossil fuel industry. The IPCC report today shows we have the highest carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and the highest amounts of marine acidification since at least two million years.”
“Phasing out fossil fuels, massively deploying renewables, investing in energy efficiency and halting ecosystem destruction is the only obvious political action for a liveable planet. This report also implies that extreme weather events will continue at current rates of warming. This means stronger support is needed for adaptation and risk management for vulnerable communities in poorer countries.”
Dr Kristina Dahl, Senior Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists:
“The latest IPCC report offers a wealth of scientific information that should be elevated and heeded. It provides a deeper understanding of sobering climate tipping points, advances in climate attribution science, and a reporting of regional climate change. While this report underscores the urgent need for climate action, prior IPCC reports and countless other studies, as well as our lived experience, have already given us more than enough evidence to know that we’re in the midst of a crisis brought to us largely by the fossil fuel industry and their political allies. The continued dithering to address climate change is no longer about the lack of scientific evidence, but rather directly tied to a lack of political will.”
Rachel Cleetus, Policy director and Lead Economist, Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists:
“For far too long, policymakers have placed their short-term political interests and the greed of corporations ahead of the needs of their constituents. After spending decades raising the alarm about the overwhelming threats posed by unchecked climate change, our organization is beyond concerned; we’re heartbroken to see worsening, grossly inequitable impacts that could’ve been avoided harming people and critical ecosystems.
We’re also alarmed by the prospect of what lies ahead—especially if nations fail to act. We urge politicians in the United States and around the globe to take stock of this sobering report and set aside their longstanding predilection for incrementalism.”
Kaisa Kosonen, Senior Political Advisor, Greenpeace Nordic:
“While governments crawl towards curbing emissions, inch-by-inch, the climate crisis is right now claiming entire communities with wildfires, extreme flooding, and drought. This IPCC report has strengthened the connection between carbon emissions by humans and worsening climate extremes.
“We are not going to let this report be shelved by further inaction. Instead, we’ll be taking it with us to the courts. One only needs to look at the recent court victory secured by civil society groups against Shell to realise how powerful IPCC science can be.”
Li Shuo, Senior Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace East Asia:
“The scientific evidence of climate change and its impact is clear. This summer’s floods have just made it real for China. There is no reason to shy away from urgent action. Stopping the construction of China’s coal-fired power plants will greatly contribute to global climate momentum. Doing so is economically sound and is ultimately in China’s self-interest.”
Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace UK:
“This is not the first generation of world leaders to be warned by scientists about the gravity of the climate crisis, but they’re the last that can afford to ignore them. The increasing frequency, scale and intensity of climate disasters that have scorched and flooded many parts of the world in recent months is the result of past inaction. Unless world leaders finally start to act on these warnings, things will get much, much worse.”
Steve Trent, CEO and founder, Environmental Justice Foundation:
​​“The IPCC’s latest report is an important piece of rigorous science, but it doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. We know that the climate crisis is here. We know that people are dying, from climate-driven storms, floods, wildfires, heatwaves, drought and famine, around the world. We know that while northern, industrialised nations are also suffering, the greatest impacts of climate breakdown are being felt by the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, those who have done the least to contribute to the heating of our planet.
If we do act ambitiously, with a foundation of environmental justice, we will see new jobs, economic revitalization, and reinvigoration of our relationship with the natural world, making us happier and healthier.”
Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy, CAFOD:
“No ifs, no buts, this report is clear it’s an urgent fight to keep below 1.5 degree warming and avoid the destruction that entails, especially for those living in poverty. Prime Minister Johnson, we need you to throw everything at this with less than 100 days to COP26 – we are at a crisis point.
“We cannot preach to countries with fragile economies and crippling global debt to divest from fossil fuels if we are still investing in oil fields, such as Cambo Sands in the Shetlands, behind closed doors. Such hypocrisy makes a mockery of Britain on the global stage, and we must reject it if we are to have any semblance of credibility amongst the international community.”
Sineia do Vale, Environmental Manager, Indigenous Council of Roraima:
“This report sadly tells us nothing that we are not already all too aware of. We are steering the planet on the course to disaster. Indigenous peoples around the world have felt this environmental crisis but we are resilient because we have strategies – what we need is firm commitments from global leaders to support us so we can continue the fight for our land and lives.
The AR6 WG1 report may paint a bleak picture, but it is vital that we commit to the 1.5°C target under the Paris Agreement, for not just the future of the Amazon, but for all countries and communities. Now is the time for urgent, radical action – not more empty promises.”
Stela Herschmann, Climate and Policy Specialist, Climate Observatory:
“The message from the IPCC is crystal-clear: change course now and brace for more impact. Scientists’ worst predictions are becoming true faster than expected, tipping points are approaching and the only acceptable emissions level is zero.”
Dr Simon Bradshaw, Head of Research, Climate Council of Australia:
“The most important climate science update for almost a decade shows there is a path to avoiding climate catastrophe, but only through immediate, deep and sustained emissions reductions. This may be our final warning.”
“Climate change is already wreaking havoc around the world. Our decisions today will be the difference between a liveable future for today’s young people, and a future that is incompatible with well-functioning human societies.”
“Every choice and every fraction of a degree of avoided warming matters. The right choices will be measured in lives, livelihoods, species and ecosystems saved. Australia, as a major emitter and blessed with unrivalled potential for renewable energy, simply has to step up with a far stronger commitment ahead of COP26.”
Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network Europe:
“Arriving at a time when we are witnessing devastating forest fires and floods in Europe, this report must be followed by adequate action which is currently still missing. We call on the EU to step up its efforts for accelerating the transformation towards a climate-neutral continent, as current plans are insufficient to keep the 1.5°C limit agreed in the Paris Agreement within reach by 2030. This report adds further weight to the need for European lawmakers to make the ‘Fit for 55’ climate and legislative package into a set of policies and measures that fit for 1.5°C.”
Nick Mabey, Chief Executive, E3G:
“This updated scientific consensus shows all countries are more exposed to higher climate risks than previously thought. The current climate disasters impacting across the world have brought home the vulnerability of even the richest and most powerful countries. At Glasgow, the big polluters need to step up and cut emissions faster as well as giving more help to those unable to protect themselves from climate impacts.”
Catherine Pettengell, Director, Climate Action Network UK:
“The urgency of action could not be more clear. Today the IPCC has issued what could be seen as the final warning. World leaders must listen and must act – both for their own nations to thrive, and in solidarity with those on the front line of the climate crisis.
The window is still open for avoiding the worst impacts and risks, but not be for much longer. Responsibility now sits on the shoulders of all world leaders to deliver at COP26.”
Miriam Talwisa, National Coordinator, Climate Action Network, Uganda:
“Now more than ever, our leaders must redouble efforts to stop the climate crisis. As communities in Kasese- Southwestern parts of Uganda continue to suffer under ever increasing, intense and persistent annual floods that can be linked to the effects of receding glaciers of the Rwenzori Mountain. The need to improve links between the latest research and decisions by policymakers cannot be overemphasized. This IPCC report should challenge political leaders into preparing and implementing NDCs that are sufficiently ambitious to contribute to mitigative measures that will sustainable support resilience for systems and people.”
Teresa Anderson, Climate Policy Coordinator, ActionAid International:
“This stark warning from the IPCC confirms the reality already experienced by communities around the world. More frequent and intense heatwaves, droughts, fires, floods and cyclones are wreaking havoc on lives and ecosystems. Women and young people in the Global South are being hit especially hard by climate extremes and changing weather patterns.
“The IPCC tells us that limiting average global warming to 1.5°C is going to be difficult – but not impossible. This new report drills home the message that policymakers need to get serious. We urgently need radical and transformative action to bring emissions down to real zero. Unfortunately, too many ‘net zero’ climate plans are being used to greenwash pollution and business-as-usual, jeopardising the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Looking ahead to COP26, rich countries that have done the most to cause the climate problem need to face up to their dual responsibility. They need to provide real support to poor countries hit by escalating climate impacts, and they need to get serious about urgent climate action.”
Agnes Hall, Campaign Director,
“This IPCC WGI report is a stark warning that humankind is on a collision course with nature. But the climate crisis didn’t come from nowhere and its progression is not inevitable.”
“For decades fossil fuel companies have known that the expansion of fossil fuels would eventually cause dramatic climate impacts. Half of all the CO2 emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution was emitted over the last 30 years.”
“The good news is that we can still stop the worst case scenarios from ever materializing, if we kick our fossil fuel addiction now. But let’s be clear. Distant future net zero pledges are not going to get the job done. No climate plan that doesn’t include phasing out fossil fuels is a real climate plan.”
Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network Canada:
“This report confirms that limiting global warming to 1.5C is simply not negotiable. It is the only choice for a safe and healthy future, and it’s still possible. We need to fight to restore our broken relationship with nature and with ourselves; we need to fight back against any delays to urgent climate action. There is no substitute for phasing out fossil fuels and cutting emissions in half this decade.”
Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network, Coordinator, Climate Action Network Japan:
“People around the world are witnessing devastating extreme events. The Tokyo Olympics now being held amid a deadly heatwave put sports athletes in danger. Guided by the compelling scientific evidence articulated by the new report, we must commit to accelerate actions to limit temperature rise to 1.5 C. Japan has to take further serious actions. Coal phase out, including stopping building new coal, is clearly a priority.”
Rhiannon Niven, Global Climate Change Policy Coordinator, BirdLife International: “Scientists have again found the climate crisis is worsening at a dangerous rate. It is clear that nature has a role to play in delivering net-zero through nature-sensitive renewables, ecosystem protection and restoration, and adaptation. Governments must urgently address the nature and climate crises together and deliver action at COP26 to protect lives and ecosystems for a green recovery.”
Dr Ruth Valerio, Director of Advocacy and Influencing, Tearfund:
“The IPCC report makes it painfully clear that we are in a fight for survival and can’t afford distant promises of action. The door is still open on limiting warming to 1.5C – but only if world leaders make swift cuts to emissions and end further support for polluting fossil fuels. It’s time for politicians to stop dragging their feet and do what needs to be done to secure a safer world for us all. Anything less is accepting a death sentence for people at the frontline of this crisis.”
Chikondi Chabvuta, Southern Africa Policy Lead, CARE Malawi:
“This IPCC report is not only about climatic catastrophes, it is also about human suffering. Every fraction of a degree matters to the people already on the frontline of the climate emergency. With every fraction of a degree, it becomes harder for vulnerable communities to escape the cycle of poverty and inequality created by climate change. With each additional flood or drought, it becomes harder for women and young people especially to pick themselves back up again.”
“We have already seen more extreme heat and precipitation, more drought, and more powerful hurricanes, and the IPCC tells us that these conditions will become more and more severe. It’s time for rich nations to take on their responsibility for the critical state of the planet and they can start by living up to their commitments to help with funding for adaptation in less wealthy countries. At present they spend only around $20 billion a year out of the promised $50 billion. That is a disgrace, and should be dealt with as a matter of priority before COP26.”
Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia:
“In recent months the world has watched in horror as floods, fires, heatwaves, drought and cyclones have left a trail of disaster, killing hundreds across Asia, China, Africa, Europe and North America. Today’s IPCC report, from the best scientists of the world, notes that similar events are expected to be more frequent and severe in the warming world.”
“South Asian governments must keep the findings of this report in front of their minds as they plot the future course of action for economic recovery. This is a race against time. The phase out of fossil fuels, enhanced resilience building and robust regional cooperation are the decisions that need to be taken together. Developed countries must support developing countries with finance and technology to avoid the worst-case climate scenarios.”
Saleemul Huq, director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Bangladesh:
"The new IPCC report is not a drill but the final warning that bubble of empty promises is about to burst. G20 countries rapidly need to switch gears and this time stick to the pledges of delivering policies that ensure that we don't exceed 1.5C warming by the end of the century. "It's suicidal, and economically irrational to keep procrastinating. The course of action is crystal clear."
Mohamed Adow, director, Power Shift Africa:
"Those of us living in Africa have been aware of the urgency of the climate crisis for many years. Lives and livelihoods have been shattered by overwhelming heat, rising seas and extreme weather.
"It is vital that governments heed the warning of the IPCC's scientists and act with speed and boldness to make our world safer, cleaner and greener. "This is not a simple question of succeed or fail, every fraction of a degree of heating is important, each decision, each coal plant closed or oil pipeline cancelled has a material impact on those of us living on the frontlines."
Nafkote Dabi, Climate Policy Lead - Oxfam International:
“Amid a world in parts burning, in parts drowning and in parts starving, the IPCC today tables the most compelling wake-up call yet for global industry to switch from oil, gas and coal to renewables. Governments must use law to compel this urgent change. Citizens must use their own political power and behaviors to push big polluting corporations and governments in the right direction. There is no Plan B”.
“Over the past 10 years, more people have been forced from their homes by extreme weather-related disasters than for any other single reason ―20 million a year, or one person every two seconds. The number of climate-related disasters has tripled in 30 years. Since 2000, the UN estimates that 1.23 million people have died and 4.2 billion have been affected by droughts, floods and wildfires”.
“The IPCC, describes humanity’s slimmest chance to keep global warming to 1.5°C and avert planetary ruin. It sets the agenda for a make-or-break climate summit in Glasgow later this year. This report is yet more unimpeachable proof that climate change is happening now, and that global warming is already one of the most harmful drivers of worsening hunger and starvation, migration, poverty and inequality all over the world.”
Helen Mountford, vice president of climate and economics, World Resources Institute:
"The current news headlines about deadly flooding, forest fires and droughts happening around the world are like scenes from a dystopian science fiction novel, yet these are manifestations of the global warming that our climate pollution has already baked into the system. The dangerous and costly impacts we are experiencing now will seem mild compared to what we will face if we fail to keep warming to 1.5C by the end of this century.
"This underscores the urgent need for rich nations to deliver far more financial resources to developing countries that are the most vulnerable to climate impacts and the least responsible for emissions."
Andrew Norton, director, International Institute for Environment and Development:
"Recent extreme weather events in the U.S., China, India and Europe reinforce what the report is telling us – climate change is already here and we need to act fast.
"G20 countries need to come to November's climate negotiations with clear plans to wean themselves off fossil fuels and outline long-term strategies to decarbonise their economies.
Wealthy countries need to pledge more money and agree to a delivery plan to reach the goal of giving $100 billion per year in climate finance to the most climate-vulnerable nations."
Mitchell Bernard, president, Natural Resources Defense Council:
"This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. If we fail - and we must not - millions of people will suffer unbearable hardship, loss and even death from climate catastrophe. The dire IPCC report makes abundantly clear that policymakers everywhere must take swift, decisive action to combat global climate change."
Aubrey Webson, chair, Alliance of Small Island States:
"The scientists have shared a dire warning that every single tonne of carbon added to the atmosphere will contribute to stronger warming, but also that we are not too late to curb the worst of it."
Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldives' President:
"This report is devastating news for the most climate-vulnerable countries - like the Maldives - because it confirms we are on the edge of extinction. While the climate emergency is intensifying each day, we in the Climate Vulnerable Forum - representing the 48 most climate-vulnerable nations in the world - are on the frontlines. Our nations are already battered by storms, droughts and rising seas.
"It is not yet too late: the IPCC states that sea level rise can be restrained to survivable levels for small island states if the world respects the 1.5 degree Paris target."
Fredrick Njehu, senior climate change and energy advisor for Africa, Christian Aid:
"The scientists of the IPCC have laid out the sheer scale of the climate crisis and the greater risks we face unless we act urgently. "We've seen in recent weeks heatwaves in North America and floods in India, Europe, China and London. In Africa we have lived with the destructive nature of the climate emergency. Whether it was Cyclone Idai, changing rainfall patterns or overbearing heat, Africa has been waiting for the rest of the world to catch up and act on climate change for years."
Mary Robinson, chair of the Elders and former Irish president:
"Leaders must show they understand the seriousness of the science and turn in stronger national commitments ahead of the COP 26 climate talks this November".
"The big question leaders must reckon with in Glasgow is whether these plans add up to what is needed—and if not, how they will close the remaining gap."
"The exigency of this situation must not lead us to despair, rather it should propel us into action," she added. "To those who seek to argue that it's too hard, or too late, and so not worth trying—the report is a reminder that every fraction of a degree of warming really does matter."

Visit the related web page

New data reveals nearly 10% of global population hungry
by Dr. Charles Owubah
Action Against Hunger
July 2021
A new report was released today revealing the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global food insecurity and malnutrition. The flagship United Nations report - The State of the Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) - found that 9.9% of the global population is undernourished and as many as 811 million people are hungry, up from 690 million people in 2019. This sharp spike in hunger rates has been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict and climate shocks.
“Hunger is preventable, yet every night, 811 million people go to bed hungry and millions more don’t know where their next meal will come from,” said Dr. Charles Owubah, CEO of Action Against Hunger, a global nonprofit leader in hunger prevention and treatment.
“An estimated 45.4 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition, the deadliest form of hunger. Each of these children has enormous potential to contribute to this beautiful world. We cannot afford to lose them to malnutrition. The world cannot stand by and allow their families to suffer more needless deaths.”
Hunger has been increasing since 2014, reversing decades of previous progress, and the new data confirm a sharp uptick since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Action Against Hunger staff are responding to the growing need in hotspots like Colombia, South Sudan and Yemen, and in more than 45 other countries.
SOFI found that the sharpest rise in hunger was in Africa, where 21 percent of the population is undernourished, more than double any other region. Globally, more than half of all undernourished people (418 million) live in Asia; more than a third (282 million) in Africa; and less than one-fifth (60 million) in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The report links increased hunger to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is far from over in much of the world, where infection rates are increasing and vaccine rollout remains slow and inequitable.
For many, the pandemic’s secondary impacts, including dangerous levels of hunger, are worse than the virus itself.
Disruptions in trade, movement restrictions, rising food prices, and deteriorating economies have made it harder for poor families to earn incomes and feed their children.
SOFI anticipates the pandemic will have a lasting residual impact on global food security, projecting that as many as 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, 30 million more people than had the pandemic not occurred.
Climate change also disproportionately harms the poorest communities. Severe droughts, floods, storms, and other weather shocks – which have nearly doubled in the past twenty years - limit people’s capacity to produce food and earn an income. More than 80% of the world’s hungriest people live in disaster-prone countries.
Hunger is also both a cause and consequence of conflict. An estimated 60% of the world’s hungry people live in countries where there is active conflict, most of which are caused by disputes over food, water or the resources needed to produce them. Conflict disrupts harvests, hampers the delivery of humanitarian aid, and forces families to flee their homes.
“COVID-19, conflict, and the climate crisis exacerbate underlying weaknesses in health, food and social protection systems, threatening the lives of the most vulnerable members of society who are already struggling to survive,” said Owubah.
Action Against Hunger calls on the international community to invest in ensuring all people have access to basic services.
"We call on all countries to make bold financial and political commitments to end hunger. The world must act now to respond to the causes of food insecurity, make nutrition-sensitive investments, and take policy actions that create opportunities for the most vulnerable people,” said Owubah.

Visit the related web page

View more stories

Submit a Story Search by keyword and country Guestbook